Shoppers “more loyal” to retailers that get it wrong (but put things right)

Almost half of consumers end up liking a brand more after a bad experience – but only if that experience is handled quickly and in the right way, according to new research.

The study, from experience management company Qualtrics, was carried out with 1,700 consumers.

It found that when a retailer resolves an issue quickly, it can lead to greater brand loyalty, with 48 per cent of consumers saying they like the retailer more than before the incidents and a further 48 per cent confirming no change in their perception of the brand.

If, however, a retailer fails to deliver the right customer experience, 62 per cent of shoppers say they will stop buying from them altogether – with half of these also recommending to friends that they don’t use the retailer in future.

Qualtrics’ research also reveals what consumers are looking for in their online and offline shopping experiences.
When shopping in physical stores, the most important things to consumers are:
• Helpful and knowledgeable staff (91 per cent)
• Fast check-out (62 per cent)
• Convenient opening hours (50 per cent)
And for shopping online, the most important factors are:
• Being able to find the products they want (100 per cent)
• Having the right products in stock (77 per cent)
• The opportunity to access help from a person (43 per cent)

Commenting on these findings, Ian McVey, Head of Enterprise at Qualtrics, said, “For today’s retailers, dealing with problems and managing complaints shouldn’t be seen as ‘firefighting’, but rather as an opportunity for brands to cement their positive reputations in the eyes of consumers. As our research shows, all interactions with consumers can have a positive impact on the perception of a brand – it simply depends on how retailers choose to manage them.

“By understanding what customers care about at every stage of the journey, retailers deliver ahead of expectations to drive brand engagement and loyalty.”

To find out how the Qualtrics’ experience management platform can improve the customer journey to reduce churn, optimise acquisition and increase loyalty,